Saturday, March 1, 2008

Cast upon the Breakers

Author: Horatio Alger

First line: "Well, good by, Rodney! I leave school tomorrow. I am going to learn a trade."

Why you should read this book: When the orphan heir, young Rodney Ropes, loses his entire fortune at the hands of his careless guardian, he is turned out of school, nearly penniless, but determined to support himself in the big city. Through setbacks with con men and complications with women who carelessly drop valuable packages outside of Tiffany's, he maintains his perfect air of self-confidence and self-reliance, riding the waves of fortune, making friends and enemies as he acts with gentlemanly aplomb. In the end, as in all of Alger's novels, a good character and work ethic are sufficient to return the young heir to his rightful position in society.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You dislike the taste of saccharine. You demand some kind of suspension of disbelief from literature. You can't read a novel comprised almost entirely of dialog without tags. You don't believe in coincidences.

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